2.93 really worth the CDN $300 extra?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alphakilo, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. alphakilo macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    On a day to day basis, is there really that much of a difference vs the 2.66 processor? I just do the basic internet surfing, emailing, may play the odd game (already got a very fast gaming rig at home), messenger, etc...

    $300 is $300. Is it worth it?
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    No. An average user will not notice the difference. A power user or extreme gamer will.
  3. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    You won't notice the difference really at all. Think of it as bragging rights :D Just joking, I suppose it'll help resell better in the future, that'll be about the only real 'live-world' tangible benefit to you ;)
  4. jjchando macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Apple says that it is a 10% increase in power when I talked to them.
  5. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008

    Think of it this way.

    If there's 100 2.66ghz, stock, "vanilla" MBP's on Ebay in 2 years, and 10 2.93ghz "decked out" models, which one do you think will have the higher resale value? The 2.93ghz model.

    Both processors pretty much consume the same amount of power. The /only/ difference between the two processors is that the CPU multiplier is bumped up slightly- running at 11x (2.93ghz) versus 10x (2.66ghz). More then likely the silicon itself is identical, only the multiplier is bumped up.

    Frankly, it's ~540mhz total to the speed of your machine. It's up to you if that's worth it or not, but IMHO, I believe it is.

  6. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    This question has been asked so much already, however the answer totally, completely and utterly depends on what you intend to do with your Macbook Pro.

    I would say anyone looking to buy a Macbook Pro should already know if the difference between 2.66 and 2.93 Ghz is worth it, if you dont know, you probably dont need a Macbook Pro, just get a 2.4 Macbook.
  7. alphakilo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    Well, if it isn't really that much of a REAL WORLD noticeable difference, I think I'll save that $300 and use part of the $$$ to upgrade to that Seagate 500 GB 7200 rpm drive then.

  8. sam10685 macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    Portland, OR
    That's what I would do... :)
  9. alphakilo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    Now......if only those 500 gb are in stock. Seems like they're having some issues with the drop feature inside the drive conflicting with Apple's system.
  10. jmark macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2006
    I would agree with upgrading to 7200rpm, but not with Seagate.

    Hitachi is a much safer choice, though they top out at 320 gig for now.

    The Hitachi drive I installed is noticeably faster than the 5400rpm Fujitsu drive my 17-inch came with.
  11. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    ;) An SSD will improve your MBP drastically in the future once you've had the fill of your 7,200rpm drive, more so than a 300MHz jump in CPU power will ever do - and you'll definately notice it. That'll be something you should save for in the long run when the prices fall.
  12. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    newegg sells the AS version.. the ASG one appears to be the prob. I have the AS version and its flawless.
  13. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Instead get an SSD (not quite the same storage, but you can upgrade externally very cheap, also no big deal if you'd be using your mac for internet stuff), which depending on the model will make your computer 2x or 3x faster for any job that involves "loading" (booting is halved compared to stock HDD, word loads up in 3secs rather than 8 with standard hdd, safari ~1 sec, a bit less heat ~2ºC not a lot but enough to keep the fans quiet if you are just browsing the internet and is silent. Really think it twice.. And for the processor... not it doest make any "noticeable" difference (unless you are some kind of ET and see stuff in slow motion or such :)) some people will try to convince you it does (but after they blowing $300~$500 in an useless upgrade, would you also think they would admit they screwed up?) Also reselling value???? thats the most stupid idea I have heard... if you are worried about the "reselling" value of a computer even before buying it, then buy a vista machine for ~$400 and use it as a disposable machine....
  14. alphakilo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    Well said!! SSD would definitely be the way to go. However, for the day to day computing, the price for the SSD does not justify the overall performance. No ET here to quantify the performance difference!! :D Best bang for the buck would be the 500 gb 7200 rpm drive.

  15. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    I just bought a 128Gb SSD (not a fancy one, but still beats up any HDD out there, I've own 10k rpm raptors) from newegg for $220 i know you get 500Gb for ~$120 in the momentus but really the speed makes up for the extra buck. To put it in perspective, most (that i know) MBP users have at least 4Gb ram (either because they upgraded at apple [which is a waste of money] or because they bought it for ~$50-70) and the 2GB->4GB performance difference is not HALF as dramatic as the HDD (stock) -> SSD jump, and thats considering that RAM its been the favorite upgrade of most people, also most people would agree that doubling the ram is MUCH better performance upgrade than lets say 5-10% more Ghzs in the processor. Anyway if you are going to buy a MBP other than the standard one, then I say prioritize SSD over any other upgrade.....
  16. Kennedy macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Rather than start a new thread, I'll just post here.

    If I were to upgrade to the 128gb SSD, rather than the 320gb 7200rpm HDD, would it be worth it?

    I'll be doing mostly 3D rendering and media-editing (CS4 Design, Vectorworks, etc.)

    Will 128gb be enough space to load the programs? I know CS4 already uses about 15gb. I'll probably get an external HDD for most of my files, anyhow, but is 128gb really enough space to have for large programs such as CS4, Vectorworks, etc.?
  17. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2009
    What do SSD's have to do with CPUs??? I thought this thread related to CPUs?
  18. percival504 macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    Do pardon my reply, but SSD is not the be all, end all

    I'm reading so much hyperbole about these MLC SSD(s), and they're not all that great -- in fact, SLC(s) aren't much better. I've tried the OCZ Cores V2. OCZ SLC Sata II, MTRON Mobi 3500 (SLC SATA II), Memoright SLC (SATA I, 1.5Gb/s -- and far superior to any of the foregoing) and the Intel X25-E. The only one that impressed me long term is the X25-E -- whatever problems the X25-M has, the X25-E just seems to get better with age.

    If you're just serving the net -- SSD (MLC or otherwise, I'd guess) will be great; if you're just running 4-5 normal OS X applications at a time and you're more concerned with launch times than things like hangs, MLC SSD(s) would probably do the trick. But if you're a power user and are more concerned with multi-tasking, forget MLC(s) altogether -- stripe fast HDDs or X25-E(s). If you can do external and you don't have to boot in 15 seconds, the V-Raptors are hard to beat for multi-tasking.

    Straight up -- 1 X25-E easily outperforms 2 striped MLC(s) (including, even, the mighty, might Samsung 256GB). I've looked at the Xbench(es) and Disktest(s) for striped Samsung MLC 256GB(s) [which tests have sometimes shown in excess of 150 MB/s sequential throughput -- because 150 MB's is the theoretical max throughput for SATA 1.5 GB/s (a/k/a SATA I), I assume that the users are using the MCE Optibay, since i can't find anything that indicates that the MacBook Pro UniBody has a SATA 3.0GB/s a/k/a SATA II bus]. 1, repeat, 1, X25-E outperforms them consistently. Spend your money wisely and in accordance with your needs -- have patience. The SSD(s) of today are not the SSD(s) of tomorrow (or next month). And remember, review sites have advertisers even if their sometimes negative reviews seem impartial. :apple:
  19. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    Go to apple. Run the 2.66 and the 2.9 on the things you would do as if you were at home. Compare and see which one is quicker to you in all departments you'll be using it in. I did that when I was choosing the right MBP 15". It was between the 2.4/2.66. I had them side by side. They both operated exactly the same to me. I didnt notice any difference at all. In fact the 2.4 was opening iPhoto quicker then the 2.66 that was the only difference. But for what your using it for. You will not notice a difference at all. Save your self a couple bucks also.
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    You have to understand some things in the computer hardware first. Hardware is always limited by something. In the early days it was memory and CPU. Hard drives were considered fast and the race was for higher MHz in the CPU than anything else. This mislead people to think CPU is the only thing that matters in a computer and the faster the CPU the better. Well, wrong, thats what we call the "Megahertz Myth". However, without going in to details here is why a SSD matters now a days much more than a CPU.

    Today, monstrous CPUs that pack dual cores or more and with 2.0GHz or more dominate the computing world. RAM has achieved very fast transfer rates. Current on the new MB & MBPs is able to reach up to 17GB/s [notice this is Gigabytes not Gigabits]; however the normal hoovering speed maybe something around 8.5GB/s (not bad considering its RAM). In other words, hardware has now evolved so much that the new bottlenecks for speed are the hard drive and FSB. The FSB is being taken care off by the new Intel QPI jumping from a few 8.5GB/s in current 1066Mhz 64-bit FSBs up to a whopping 24GB/s or 32GB/s using QPI. Notice! GigaBytes/sec not Gigabits/sec.

    However, an HDD is always going to be slow because of the moving parts and all. Please bear in mind that current drives top out at 15,000 rpm in the desktop area. Not that very effective if you take into account newer QPI and RAM transfers rates. So, since your HDD being slow, your whole system will slow down as it has to wait for the HDD to read and send the info of to the CPU/RAM for information/data to be computed.

    Recent benchmarks put the fastest HDDs against the current SSDs and the results are as follows here).

    All transfers are up to not operating

    HDD (WD 10,000 rpm 150GB drive)

    Read 110 MB/s
    Write 150 MB/s

    SSD (Titan G.Skill 256GB drive)

    Read 250 MB/s
    Write 150 MB/s

    Keep in mind this numbers are MB/s, not Mb/s

    Now taking into account all of the above and this new data. Increasing CPU performance does nothing as having a slow HDD will just mean the CPU will spend most of its time idling that actual number crunching. Think of this analogy, current CPUs, RAM and QPI speeds and transfers are like driving 100Mi/Hr in 16 (8 going, 8 back)lanes of road where as HDDs are driving the less speed ~60Mi/Hr in 4 (2 going, 2 back)lanes. While SSDs are not that HUGE leap in speed to the GB/s area, they still do a huge leap. A 140MB/s leap increase in read speed is remarkable considering HDDs have been for a long time and improved as slow as hell, meanwhile SSDs are relatively new and enter the market with a boom. With SSDs we could see this number spike to the GB/s finally.

    So to sum all things up. It's better to have an SSD as you increase performance in the bottleneck (by adding more lanes and speeding up traffic) of the computer vs where there is already more than enough speed.

    Clear enough?

    PS - Congrats to anyone who read all that. Put a **** in the beginning of your post if you did.
  21. davehutch macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2009
    Croxley, Herts
    Upgrade possible when prices drop?

    Does the SSD in an MBP fit into th same space as the HD so it is upgradeable in the furture when SSDs get a bit cheaper?
  22. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    yes they do as long as the ssd's specs say it is 2.5" (there are some 1.8", which are not very common, and I dont know if they could fit with an adaptor or something, however 2.5" will)

    Pal, you are missing the point, there is no way you can put one of those extremely fast HDD in a MBP, not to mention it would be impossible to put the stripped (if you could get a 2.5") unless you remove the optic drive, and spend like $50 in an adapter, at the end you will end up with a project that cost you $300+ (2 drives + adaptor) which is the same as a nice SSD, yes you get better storage (if you could do this) but then your battery life would suck, not to mention you'd lose the optic drive as well as increasing considerably the data loss risk.
    Also the fact that cheap SSDs are comparable (I am not saying better, they are better in some things like read speeds of large files, as they are worse in some things like writing....) is remarkable, to begin with, there is no Notebook HDD that can be compared to a regular 3.5" HDD (the momentus, which is arguable the fastest 2.5 HDD out there today, is not much faster than a $50 500GB ramdom HDD, therefore cannot be compared with a raptor) also keep in mind that raptor HDDs are not cheap either, when i bought mine (74Gb it cost me $150 just $70 less that what my SSD cost me, and have ~40GB less capacity, todays 300GB raptors are cheaper but still you cannot put them in the MBP so I dont know why are we having this discution, I just mentioned it to COMPARE....

    That depends on many factors..
    1.- How many HDDs does your current system is taking?
    2.- How many GB you would be willing to free up if you were to do the switch
    3.- Are you willing to use external HDDs?

    Keep in mind that for $5~$10 you can convert your current internal HDD into an external if you were to do the change, and if you spend another $10 in a PCI express card with eSATA port and get an eSATA enclosure even better.

    Good rule of thumbs is, that if you want the system to be stable, leave at least 20% of your HDD empty (e.g. 20-30GB of the 128 SSD
    ) so if you can fit your stuff in ~100GB you going to be OK (system files takes ~ 15GB so you got ~ 80GB for your files and program...... (currently I got my system with a few programs and my MP3 collection (70GB) on my system and got 37GB free.

    Regarding how much of speed increase you will have for those particular programs, i have no idea, but you can find out really simple, when the program is working, place your ear near the laptop left to the track pad, if you hear noise comming from there is the HDD working. which mean if you replace it with an SSD whatever your computer is doing to make the HDD work at that particular time, its speed will be (almost) doubled therefore its time would be (almost) halved.
  23. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    Yep - it should be a simple swap out. The majority are all 2.5" drives, and manufacturers haven't seen fit to create a 3.5" SSD yet.

    It should be plentiful for you, and how you describe you'll be working. Since you will have/do have external HDD's for storage and backup, and you didn't mention you'll be running bootcamp, you'll have plenty of space to last you until it become cheap to double or triple the capacity.
  24. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    Wow, i think we need to make a(is .this worth getting over 2.this?) thread. Seems like this pops up everyday. Google then look at benchmarks and reviews.
  25. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I have been going over this very same dilemma since yesterday and this thread pretty much reinforces what i was leaning towards. I pretty much decided that i wont notice any difference going from 2.66 to 2.93 so it would be a waste of $300 for me, I don't play any games and i don't do anything too intensive. In fact i would be ok with the 2.4 but lets not get crazy lol.

    So i decided it would make more sense to get the 2.66 which already brings 4gb of ram and wait until SSD prices go down and storage goes up. I think we are on the verge. Then i'll just replace my hard drive. I'm not even going to waste money on a 7200 rpm drive either. I'm replacing my iMac with a Macbook PRO and 24 inch display so i need storage and some power so i wont feel like i downgraded.

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